Lessig gave a great TED talk on the need for copyright reform. It’s good to watch for his storytelling style as well as the content
Larry Lessig: How creativity is being strangled by the law:
Fair use, as I understand it, is a US concept. People from other countries have told me that they have no similar copyright exemptions. This could be significant. Both the Sonny Bono copyright act in the 90’s and the recent Supreme Court decision that put some public domain works back under copyright were done in part to bring the US in line with European regulations. The tension between permissive and restrictive copyright interpretations is probably going to be won by the side with the most lawyers, i.e the restrictive one. What might happen if the international community challenged our educational fair use? This is an argument in favor of CC licensing.
O’Reilly’s article is heavy on the technical and architectural aspects, which is interesting or not depending on POV. The main point I take from it is that we’re shifting from a spectator culture to a participatory one.
Web 2.0 storytelling is part of participatory culture.
Several years ago, through the Slate magazine web site, I found out about some interesting Web 1.0 storytelling: clubbo.com. The story about it was that a session musician wanted to write a book about the music industry, and ended up making this site which tells the story of Clubbo Records. It has a discography, recordings, videos, and Ithink they even had a greatest hits CD for sale somewhere. What impressed me was that the author didn’t trap himself into the book format, but rather used all the tools available to him to create his story.
A more Web 2.0 example of storytelling was You Suck at Photoshop, which started as a series of funny little Youtube tutorials that revealed too much information about the narrator character. Apparently he and some of the other characters popped up in other domains.
A third bizarre bit of something was the three wolf moon shirt on Amazon. Someone pointed me to things tagged WTF and the shirt came up, along with over a thousand reviews proclaiming the Axe body spray-like effect the shirt has on women in trailer parks and Walmart.
Of course these are all just-for-fun things. More people sharing more information more widely, more quickly, leads to the betterment of human society. We’re only at the beginning of the latest segment of that journey.